Frank at the 2010 Texas Book Festival
|Born||Thomas Carr Frank
March 21, 1965
Kansas City, Missouri, United States of America
|Alma mater||University of Kansas, University of Virginia, University of Chicago|
|Occupation||Political analyst, columnist, historian, journalist|
|Known for||Co-founder of The Baffler, culture war author|
|Notable work||What's the Matter with Kansas?|
Thomas Carr Frank (born March 21, 1965) is an American political analyst, historian, journalist, and columnist for Harper's Magazine. He wrote "The Tilting Yard" column in the Wall Street Journal from 2008 to 2010, and he co-founded and edited The Baffler. He has written several books, most notably What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004).
Frank is a historian of culture and ideas. He analyzes trends in American electoral politics and propaganda, advertising, popular culture, mainstream journalism, and economics. His topics include the rhetoric and impact of culture wars in American political life and the relationship between politics and culture in the United States.
Frank started his political journey as a College Republican, but he has come to be highly critical of conservatism, especially the presidency of George W. Bush. Frank summarized the thesis of his book The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule as "Bad government is the natural product of rule by those who believe government is bad."
Frank's other writings include essays for Harper's Magazine, Le Monde diplomatique, Bookforum, and the Financial Times. His book What's the Matter with Kansas?, published in 2004, earned him nationwide and international recognition.
- "The backlash…is a crusade in which one's material interests are suspended in favor of vague cultural grievances that are all-important and yet incapable of ever being assuaged."
- "While earlier forms of conservatism emphasized fiscal sobriety, the backlash mobilizes voters with explosive social issues...which is then married to pro-business economics."
- "To [conservative] backlash writers, the operations of business are simply not a legitimate subject of social criticism. In the backlash mind, business is natural; it is normal; it is beyond politics."
- "Backlash culture abounds with tall tales of liberals out of control, with hippies spitting on [Vietnam War] veterans, with Jane Fonda narking on POWs to their Vietnamese captors..."
- "Whereas liberals are thought to erupt self-righteously whenever they feel like it, conservatives believe that they themselves are never permitted to say what they really think."
- "The backlash is a theory of how the political world works, but it also provides a ready-made identity in which the glamour of authenticity, combined with the narcissism of victimhood is available to almost anyone."
- "To be a populist conservative is to be a fatalist...where the liberal stranglehold on life can never be broken. This is a curious set of beliefs for a coalition that quite literally rules American politics."
- "Ignoring one's economic self-interest may seem a suicidal move to you and me, but viewed in a different way it is an act of noble self-denial, a sacrifice to a holier cause."
- "...the great goal of the backlash is to nurture a cultural class war."— Thomas Frank from What's the Matter with Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004)
- "The big government that [conservatives] rail against is, by and large, their government. For a political faction to represent itself as a rebellion against a government for which it is itself responsible for may strike you as a supremely cynical maneuver."— Thomas Frank from The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule. (2008)
Frank was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1965. He grew up in a local suburb, Mission Hills, Kansas. Frank graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School. He later attended the University of Kansas. He also attended the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago, where he received a doctorate in history in 1994. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and children.
- Frank, Thomas (1997). The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism. University of Chicago Press.
- One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracy (2000) ISBN 0-385-49503-X
- New Consensus for Old: Cultural Studies from Left to Right (2002) ISBN 0-9717575-4-2
- Boob Jubilee: The Mad Cultural Politics of the New Economy: Salvos from the Baffler (2003) ISBN 0-393-32430-3
- What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004). Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 978-1-4299-0032-4
- What's the Matter with America? The Resistible Rise of the American Right (2006) ISBN 0-09-949293-8
- The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule (2008), Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 0-8050-7988-2
- Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right (2011) ISBN 978-0-8050-9369-8
- Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (2016) ISBN 978-1-6277-9539-5
Essays and reporting
- Frank, Thomas (November 2012). "All the rage". Easy Chair. Harper's 325 (1950): 6, 8–9.
- The Trap (TV Documentary Series): Frank features in the BBC documentary.
- What's the Matter with Kansas?, a 2009 documentary film produced by Joe Winston and Laura Cohen. The film was inspired by Frank's book of the same name; Frank appears in the film and receives a writing credit.
- "American Feud: A History of Conservatives and Liberals" includes interviews with Frank speaking about the division between "red states" and "blue states" and other aspects of American politics.
- Frank (2004), 121
- Frank (2004), 5
- Frank (2004), 126
- Frank (2004), 125
- Frank (2004), 126
- Frank (2004), 157, 158
- Frank (2004), 125
- Frank (2004), 168
- Frank (2004), 128
- Frank, 2008, 32
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Thomas Frank|
- Tom Frank official website
- Website for Thomas Frank's book Listen, Liberal
- Thomas Frank Author Page, Henry Holt and Company
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Thomas Frank column index in Harper's
- "What's The Matter With What's The Matter With Kansas" [sic]; The Nation; October 11, 2005
- Study (pdf) argues that the white working class hasn't moved right and that "moral values" are not pushing them to vote Republican.[dead link]
- Class is Dismissed Thomas Frank's reply to Bartels' study, "What's The Matter With What's The Matter With Kansas".
- New Consensus for Old: Cultural Studies from Left to Right 26 page book/pamphlet put out by Prickly Paradigm in Fall 2002.
- PBS's NOW with Bill Moyers An interview on What's the Matter With Kansas?
- Thomas Frank at the Internet Movie Database
- Frank giving speech at "Hostile Takeover"
- Opinion article in the Wall Street Journal written by Frank
- VIDEO: Thomas Frank, Aug. 14, 2008, The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, presentation at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon, from recent book tour.
- 2009 Thomas Frank interview with Jon Niccum
- VIDEO: Thomas Frank discusses Pity the Billionaire on January 5, 2012, on WGBH's Forum Network.
- Thomas Frank interview on February 13, 2012, on the History News Network.